03:58 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Matteo Renzi

    Renzi Takes Lead in Group of EU Leaders' Push Against New Sanctions on Russia

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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi led the pushback at the EU leader’s summit in Brussels against the UK, German and French proposal to impose new sanctions on Russia over its role in Syria, a diplomat present at the debate was cited as saying by the Financial Times daily on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Renzi took the lead in the effort to remove the threat of sanctions from the European Council’s draft statement after Austria, Spain, Greece and Cyprus voiced their reservations, according to the diplomat.

    The newspaper’s source said the debate turned out to be "more difficult" than expected, despite strongly-worded accusations from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who called for sanctions on both individuals and entities supporting the Syrian government.

    Any mentioning of new sanctions on Moscow was absent from the debate’s conclusions published on Thursday night. It condemned alleged attacked on civilians in Aleppo by Russian and Syrian forces and said the European Union was considering all available options.


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    sanctions, The Syrian war, European Union, Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, Francois Hollande, Theresa May, Italy, Spain, Syria, Russia, Aleppo, Cyprus, Austria, Greece
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